Chicago marathon training: End of the Line

If you follow me on Instagram, you know where this post is going: I finally bit the bullet and deferred my entry to the 2019 Chicago Marathon. 

After what was feeling like a great training cycle, I managed to aggravate my knee. After a week of pain I headed to the doctor, and after an x-ray an an orthopedist visit, the doctor told me that my knee cap wasn’t tracking directly - patellar tracking disorder. They told me which brace I needed, and handed me a prescription for physical therapy. 


“Great!” I thought. There was no major damage, just an inflammation that could be resolved. I had almost two months before race day, which would hopefully be more than enough time to bounce back. I didn’t run at all for two weeks, instead swimming and biking to keep my cardio up. I went to PT like the doctor recommended. When I started running again, I listened to the physical therapists advice and took it slow. 

When the physical therapist evaluated me, he felt that it wasn’t patellar tracking disorder, but an injury that was acting like it. He thought that I must have side stepped at some point, and my knee cap displaced and caused the lingering irritation. 

As race day grew closer, the deferment deadline approached and I was faced with a tough decision. My running was still minimal, and the PT had told me I should only run distances that didn’t cause pain - which was capping me at about 4 miles by deferment day. 

So, I made the difficult decision and deferred my registration to 2020. I was too nervous about hurting myself if I pushed to up my mileage in preparation for race day, and it just didn’t feel like the smart choice. Plus, I want to be healthy for the Dopey challenge in January. 

Now, almost two months after the initial pain in my knee I have some good days where it feels normal-ish, and some bad days where it is achey all day and hurts if I even think about running.

Thankfully, I was able to refund both my flight and hotel, so that was a silver lining. At least the only “cost” was the race entry, and by deferring I will have a spot waiting for me next fall, and I can hope that the next go around, I will be ready to take this race on. 

To those of you heading to Chicago this weekend to take on 26.2, I wish you the best of luck, and remind you to trust your training!